Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Presenting this week in Gardening

Greetings Bloggies.

Having given it some though I have decided that yes I will use this forum to tell any one who cares about how great my life in Vancouver is.
Today and yesterday I walked home from work.  Last weeks rushed rides to work left my knee feeling funny and the Seattle trip and late running
Sunday evening left me tired.  So riding has not been happening this week.
Thankfully I am only about an hour and twenty minutes from home and that is taking my time.  So it was a lovey evening and my time was taken.

On this walk I past an orchid that stank of trash or crap, I could not tell for sure, I could tell the flies loved it. I took a detour today,
it might have been a short cut but for taking the wrong path through McSpaddon park.  This turned out to have a surprise in it.
Hiding away next to the tennis court is a Community garden.  I thing I may have seen it before but thought that it was some how attached to a school.
Today I walked right by it and saw that it was green and full of future and present food.

Curiosity lead me to slip through the gate and have a closer look.  Some are over grown some are well tended some are weeded but need details
 managed like climbing things for peas.  The place is pleasant.  As it turns out my garden Annex has slightly more then double the area of the
 plots in that garden.  That garden also suffers from being overly Clayey and needed a boost in organics to improve texture.

Naturally I said hello to the one person tending to a plot.  This plot had some Swiss chard, radishes, of which a rather large bright red one was extracted.
A conversation about gardening was had with the young woman who was weeding that plot.  I explained my plan for my mini greenhouse, I was carrying 4 bamboo sticks.
I shared a home grown radish I had picked yesterday.  We both benifited from gardening advice from a later arrivel at the plot.  Tips on tomatoes were shared.

Eventually I did leave the garden but not before leaving with a new plant.  Some member of the mint family I am not positive on its ID.  I know a handful of mint family things
it is not but no certainy of what it is.  I made it home.  Changed out of work cloths put rice and the left over chicken in the rice maker and turned it on.  That proved to be a
highly successful method.  THe rice got cooked just fine and the chicken came out hot but not dry from having steamed with the rice.

The automatic dinner heating gave me time to build the salvaged green house.  Today a fellow who sublet an office within the office my company occupies was moving out.  He was switching
to a home based business so he could spend more time with his little one.  Thanks to his cleaning I found a large role of clear plastic in a recycling bin.  Yesterday I had used some
plastic bags go shelter a pair of struggling tomato plants and a pepper plant.  These were uggly and rather adhoc creations.  The plasitc presented a better fix.

So the mint like thing was planted in an empty slot left by a cucumber that was not sprouting. An A frame was cobbled together using bamboo and string.  The plastic was stuck in place with
tape aquired last year after a friend left the job.  It took lots of tape and I had just enough plastic. Its more than a little ugly, but I have easier access to the
plants thanks to the flip up end.

I also have to report that my Kale is growing well as are the potatoes, one of the tomatoe plants has more then one generation of flowers on it and several are getting close to blooming.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Garden Annex

The start of the Annex.  The two stakes
mark tomato plants from my landlord.

Greetings Bloggies.

When last we spoke I was unloading my self of a couple tones of iron and plastics. I do not regret that choice.  Somedays I think I wish I could have a car to move one thing once.  Those days are few enough in between for me to know that I am not really needing it.

Today I am going to tell you all about my accidental garden.  When last we met the garden I was offered a small corner of the plot across the alley. I accepted that offer and later that weekend tilled that plot with a hand trowel.  That is not the smart way to garden.  It was enough for me to plant the first generation of veggie seedlings some of my own and some from my sister.   I could nearly have kept things there save for the ticking biological time bomb that was the tomatoes.

Some fool thought it was a good
idea to sell me a spade.
Mr. Socks, him cat.
I was given 4 tiny pucks of dirt with tomato seeds planted in them.  I had no trouble sprouting them in the Hobbit hole but thriving beyond that did not happen here. So I did what any sane person would do.  Transplant the sad skinny things and take them to my office with its south facing windows.  That was the recipe for growth.  Within days they had grown more then they had in the three weeks they had spent in my house.  The tomatoes were quickly running out of soil too much longer in the office and a hot day would have killed them. The tiny toothpick sized things were now 30 to 50 cm tall and out of room to grow.  So I did another perfectly sane thing, I bought a spade.

The tomatoes forced my hand.  There was not enough space in the corner plot to fit them and I lacked potting soil and pots to give them the chance they needed on the patio.  Hence the spade.  On a Saturday after noon I went and got a tool.  I then dug out the whole garden.  At this time nothing had been planted and the untilled earth was getting hard.  So my logic was even if I don't plant it my self at least it will be ready.  I finished that day with 4 raised beds.  Then next day I went to my office and repatriated some very thirsty tomatoes.

The plot as of today.
I should have known I would not stop there, and I did not.  The final bed is still not yet planted. Three of the beds are planted with seed purchased by the gardens official tenants and soon I will need a hose. 

I have been making do with a bucket that spent the last 6 months siting on the side of the street next to where I used to park my car.  This will do until the cucumbers and zucchini come online.